Costa Rica | Birding the Osa Peninsula with Mario Córdoba

Costa Rica | Birding the Osa Peninsula with Mario Córdoba

About this trip

Embark on a birding adventure in southern Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula! Under the expert guidance of Mario Córdoba, you’ll seek out an impressive array of migratory and endemic birds while visiting an area known as home to some of the world’s most diverse and unique ecosystems including tropical rainforests, coral reefs, and mangrove forests. See for yourself how the Osa Peninsula continues to awe birdwatchers and nature lovers from around the world.

This trip can be paired with Northwest Costa Rica, March 26 - April 4, 2024.

Highlights

  • Hike trails near Corcovado National Park’s Sirena Ranger Station in search of bird species such as Morelet's Seedeater, Crested Owl, and Chestnut-backed Antbird as well as other wildlife including squirrel and capuchin monkeys, black mantled howler monkey, Baird's tapir, and giant anteaters.
  • Visit the Yellow-billed Cotinga Sanctuary, 30 protected acres that help connect the mangrove and inland rainforest habitats that this endangered, endemic bird needs to survive.
  • Look for endemic species like the Isthmian Wren and near-endemics such as the Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager and Fiery-billed Aracari in Corcovado National Park, the country’s largest national park.
  • Embark on a day trip to Caño Island for opportunities to snorkel and look for pelagic species as well as whales and dolphins.

Meet your leaders

Mario Córdoba

Mario Córdoba Hidalgo has been a nature guide in Costa Rica for more than two decades. During all these years he has expanded his knowledge and appreciation for the country’s unique features and introduced many visitors to its beauty and biodiversity. Born in 1973 in Quesada, San Carlos, he spent his early years exploring nature with his local Boy Scout troop. This was the onset of his lifelong passion for the natural world. After completing primary and secondary school, he went on to attend the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica for his professional training in ecotourism. He learned the trade as a tour guide at places like Arenal Volcano and Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge. He has been leading tours for Holbrook Travel since 1996.

Debbie Sturdivant Jordan

Debbie's 30-year career with Holbrook Travel began in 1986 with company founder Giovanna Holbrook. Debbie rejoined Holbrook in 1996, and her passion for birding and nature travel has led her to organize group expeditions that directly support habitat conservation in Central and South America. Now working part-time, she enjoys the duties of Holbrook Ambassador and helps non-profit and specialty group clientele with all aspects of program development and marketing. A lifelong traveler, Debbie arrived in Florida with her family aboard their 36-foot sailboat in 1972, after cruising from California to Florida via the Galápagos Islands and the Panama Canal. When not traveling for work or pleasure, she is appreciating grandchildren in her Melrose, Florida home.

San Jose

Mar 19, 2024

Arrive and transfer to the hotel. Dinner on own tonight. Check in starts at 3 pm.

Overnight at Hotel Bougainvillea

Drake Bay

Mar 20, 2024

Begin the day with early birding around the spectacular 10-acre grounds of the hotel. Have breakfast at the hotel followed by program orientation. Board a midday flight to Drake Bay and travel overland and by boat to the Drake Bay Wilderness Resort. Arrive in time for a late lunch and to explore the grounds. ***Please Note: Flight includes one checked bag, maximum weight of 30lbs and up to 45 linear inches; one carry-on bag, maximum weight of 10lbs and 20 linear inches and one person item.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Drake Bay Wilderness Resort

Drake Bay

Mar 21, 2024

After an early breakfast, gear up for a day of birding in Corcovado National Park. Corcovado has been referred to by National Geographic as "the most biologically intense place on Earth in terms of biodiversity". At 164 square miles, it's the largest national park in Costa Rica, the largest primary forest on the American Pacific coastline, and one of the few remaining large areas of lowland tropical rainforest in the world. The park holds thousands of species of flora and fauna, many of which are unique to the region. Board a boat and travel along the coast for approximately one hour, depending on the water conditions, to arrive at the Sirena Station. Hike nearby trails into the jungle to search for bird species such as Morelet's Seedeater, Crested Owl, and Chestnut-backed Antbird to name a few. Other wildlife today may include squirrel and capuchin monkeys, black mantled howler monkey, Baird's tapir, giant anteater, white lipped peccary, dolphins, or whales. Boat trips in Corcovado involve "wet landings," i.e. disembarking in ankle- to knee-deep water, so plan to have water shoes in addition to shoes appropriate for hiking. Tonight, gather for a bird checklist meeting and dinner.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Drake Bay Wilderness Resort

Drake Bay

Mar 22, 2024

Rise early for birding and breakfast. Then with a packed lunch in hand, board a boat for a day trip to Caño Island (public tour), where there will be optional snorkeling. If the park is open, go ashore for a walk around the interesting island, which has an indigenous burial ground. Look out for pelagic species, as well as whales and dolphins, on our return to the mainland. Disembark at Drake Bay and have some free time before birding around the area.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Drake Bay Wilderness Resort

Osa Peninsula

Mar 23, 2024

Birding this morning, then travel by boat and vehicle to Danta Corcovado Lodge, on the east side of Corcovado National Park. Arrive at the lodge in time for lunch then check-in. This afternoon, visit to the 285-acre Swarovski Optik Rainforest on the Golfo Dulce.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Danta Corcovado Lodge

Osa Peninsula

Mar 24, 2024

Morning birding in La Tarde Reserve and then visit the Yellow-billed Cotinga Sanctuary, 30 protected acres that help connect mangrove and inland rainforest habitats, both of which this endangered, endemic bird needs for survival. This afternoon enjoy birding on various trails in the area and take a mangrove boat tour. Other targets today include the Isthmian Wren and other endemics and near-endemics such as the Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager and Fiery-billed Aracari.

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Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Danta Corcovado Lodge

Osa Peninsula

Mar 25, 2024

Early morning departure for the Corcovado National Park near the Los Patos entrance. Be on the lookout for Chiriqui Foliage-gleaner, Velvety and Red-capped Manakins, and White-vented and Spot-crowned Euphonias, among many others.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Danta Corcovado Lodge

Depart

Mar 26, 2024

Birding before breakfast then head to the Puerto Jimenez airport for the flight to San Jose and then on to Liberia (arrival by 3:00 pm) to begin the main trip.

Breakfast- included